David Lynch says he felt “more confident” making his second solo album, “The Big Dream,” which comes out July 16.
“I feel a little bit more confident, and I feel like the songs are tighter,” Lynch, the filmmaker and visual artist tells Billboard. “Better is a funny word; I just feel it’s a bit of a step up that we got on this album. I think you would hope for that, you know?”
“The Big Dream” follows Lynch’s well-received 2011 release “Crazy Clown Time” and finds Lynch again writing and recording with regular cohort Big Dean Hurley. The album features 11 originals and a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “The Ballad of Hollis Brown,” while Lykke Li sings on the bonus track “I’m Waiting Here.” The songs mix ethereal ambience with occasionally upbeat and gritty pieces such as “Star Dream Girl,” “Say It” and “Sun Can’t Be Seen No More” (with Lynch’s 21-year-old son Riley on lead guitar), and Lynch says he’s become firmly settled into the musical process.
“When (‘Crazy Clown Time’) was finished, we were still working on songs, so one song just follows another,” he explains. “It’s based on the blues and (the songs) start with a jam and go from there.”
Out of a jam comes something, most of the time, that is, ‘Oh, that feels good,’ then it’s action and reaction on top of that. And then you work it until it feels correct, and sometimes the lyrics come first but mostly the music is talking to you about how it wants to be, and then the lyrics are born out of that. It’s a strange phenomenon, but I love doing it.”
The Dylan cover, Lynch says, was Hurley’s idea and was inspired more by Nina Simone’s version of the song.
“It’s not really a cover of Bob Dylan as much as it is a cover of a Nina Simone cover of Bob Dylan,” Lynch notes. “It was Nina Simone’s version that was sort of the driver of the boat. Dean said, ‘You should think about singing this thing,’ and it turned out that it was a great idea because one time we played the sequence of the album and forgot to play that one, and it’s so important for the sequence.”
Lynch says he and Hurley “have maybe a couple of threads we’re talking about now, but you couldn’t say we’ve officially started the third album.” He’s currently focusing on his paintings and drawings, with an exhibition coming up during November at the Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery in Los Angeles. Lynch isn’t working on any film projects at the moment, and he has no plans to take his music out on the road. “I know we could do quite a show,” he acknowledges, “but I don’t think it’s going to happen, unfortunately.”
The track list for “The Big Dream” includes:
The Big Dream
Star Dream Girl
Cold Wind Blowin’
The Ballad of Hollis Brown
We Rolled Together
Sun Can’t Be Seen No More
I Want You
The Line It Curves
Are You Sure
I’m Waiting Here (bonus track with Lykke Li)